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A Wonderful Wood Paneled Farmhouse

A Wonderful Wood Paneled Farmhouse

Custom white farmhouse with wood paneling cape cod style
Written by Stephanie Agnes Crockett
Photography by Seamus Payne
Styling by Kelly Simmons

Florida homeowner Kelly Simmons designed her wood paneled farmhouse to mimic the floor plan of the “Something’s Gotta Give” farmhouse. For those who love timeless interiors, the 2003 blockbuster “Something’s Gotta Give” is more than just another romantic comedy. It’s also a major source of inspiration.

To do this, she collaborated with Chris Buffalo, owner of Buffalo Lumber Company, a wood paneling company. “Kelly was the vision person,” Chris says. “She knew what she wanted pretty clearly.”

Large open kitchen with island and dining room table in wood paneled farmhouse
Kelly’s kitchen design takes a turn for the innovative with a tabletop island situated in the middle of the space. The table offers comfortable seating—not just for one or two but for entertaining larger parties. And the drawers are just as functional- one set offers traditional storage space, the other pops out to reveal electrical outlets.

Classic But Casual

“[Kelly] came to us wanting something that looked like what Joanna Gaines ended up with, only on a much larger scale,” Chris says.

“Joanna Gaines refinished (cleaned, prepped and painted) 300 square feet of older wood for an accent. Kelly wanted to do that look throughout the entire house.”

Living room with white couch, large windows, and gallery wall in wood paneled farmhouse
Even though Kelly’s great room is covered with wood from floor to ceiling, there are definite delineations within the large area. A simple splash of gray paint frames the fireplace surround, while crisp shades of white highlight the room’s distinctive shape. Overhead, the hanging light fixture draws attention to the room’s impressive height

Inside The Wood Paneled Farmhouse

But bringing this vision to life meant more than just applying Joanna Gaines’ model throughout the home. “Kelly had over 9,000 square feet she wanted to do, and it was not going to be realistic for her contractor to try to reclaim and finish that much wood,” Chris says.

Instead of reclaiming the wood, the company needed to acquire fresh wood for the project. But rather than shaving a step off of the process, this actually introduced an additional layer of complexity.

Kelly’s master bedroom draws on symmetry and equilibrium. “I think repeated patterns and balance help any design,” Kelly says. But repetition does not have to mean boredom. “You can have repeated elements without it being too matchy,” Kelly explains, “and I think that makes a huge difference.”

Pitch Bleed Processing

“When you are refinishing old wood, you don’t have to worry about ambient humidity levels because the wood has already adjusted,” Chris says. “You can just clean it, prep it and finish it.” In contrast, “if your project requires new wood on the interior of a home, you will want to understand the pitch bleed before making decisions.”

Kelly chose a perfectly elegant, if somewhat surprising, material for her bathroom floor. She selected Carrara marble, which also makes its home in the kitchen, for the countertops. “It’s the same Carrara, but it’s all different sizes,” Kelly explains. “It all ties together, but each room is different.”

Pitch bleed is what happens when “unfinished (new) wood is installed on the interior and then painted over.” As Chris explains, because of climate controls in today’s homes, pitch bleed is inevitable. “The only way to avoid this is to shellac prime every single knot on every single board,” he says.

Embracing a modern take on the farmhouse staircase, Kelly opted for a raw steel railing with horizontal rails running up the length. She left the metal unfinished, aside from a simple coat of polyurethane, which protects from rust. Kelly isn’t afraid of a little wear and tear. After all, that’s what gives a home some farmhouse flavor.

Of course, priming the wood is bound to change its appearance. So, if you’re completing this project for your own wood paneled farmhouse, you’ll want to evaluate the wood at each stage of painting, to make sure its distinctive character is still showing through. And that really comes down to preference.

“My part,” Chris says, “was coming to understand the delicate balance between rustic charm and the finished look that would give [Kelly] the feeling she was after.”

See Also
enclosed porch decorated for fall

living room with high ceilings and gray fireplace in wood paneled farmhouse
The high ceilings in Kelly’s living room show off the gorgeous architecture and make the room feel extra spacious.

Invisible Installation

It was also important to maintain that “delicate balance” when installing the wood walling. “Kelly did not want to see the actual nails used to secure the paneling,” Chris says. So the team got resourceful. “Instead of shiplap, we used a tongue-and-groove pattern with what we call a micro-bevel,” Chris explains.

The micro-bevel “allowed her installer to hide the nails and still achieve the accent lines of a shiplap pattern.” Again, Chris and his team needed to put in extra work to create the desired effect, but the results were well worth the effort.

Hallway with sliding doors and industrial chandeliers
Designing your interiors is a perfect opportunity to let your own style flow. “Kelly has a great eye for authenticity,” Chris says. “Her ability to use the paneling and the sliding doors to create a genuine expression of herself is amazing. The feel of this hallway is stylish and comfortable. It’s Kelly’s personality expressed through design.”

“The wood paneling just transformed the whole house into something more casual, more farmhouse, more lived in and comfortable,” Kelly says.

Chris feels the same way. “Wood is where the heart is,” he says. “It’s the most important decision on any project because it’s the one we love. We make it the most visible because it creates feelings: warmth, belonging, splendor, pride, comfort. Wood makes a house a home!”

Office space with sliding doors in a wood paneled farmhouse
Flanked by sliding wood doors, Kelly’s office combines today’s modern functionality with yesterday’s simple timelessness. “I think [manufacturers] have caught on that people want things to be functional and not just attractive,” Kelly says. For this reason, it’s fairly easy to make your office both usable and charming.

Check out another beautiful farmhouse tour here! And of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to get your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration! 

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